Boeing Starts Construction of its First European Production Facility, Boeing Sheffield
September 29, 2017
On September 12 Boeing officially began construction of the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe, Boeing Sheffield, by ceremonially breaking ground at the Sheffield Business Park. The landmark event was held following the announcement of Boeing Sheffield earlier this year and the granting of planning permission by Sheffield City Council in July. The ground breaking was marked with an event which saw representatives from Boeing, the local community and government come together in celebration of the occasion.
When it opens at the end of 2018, Boeing Sheffield will be a highly advanced and fully-equipped 6,200 square metre factory facility that will manufacture actuation system components for Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aeroplanes. The factory will be part of Boeing Fabrication, Boeing’s in-house manufacturing operation. The Boeing Sheffield team will manufacture key actuation systems with improved productivity, enhanced production efficiency and reduced costs, while maintaining quality. When it opens, the facility will produce as many as 8,000 components per month that will be shipped to Boeing Portland to be assembled into actuation systems.
Kim Smith, vice-president of Boeing Fabrication, said on the day:
“We are delighted to welcome Boeing Sheffield, our newest member of the Boeing Fabrication family. The partnership between our sites in Sheffield and Portland is a win-win for aerospace innovation and our global growth strategy, as we develop a new source of expertise and talent in the U.K. and connect it with a high-performing, growing Boeing site in the U.S. Today’s ceremony is symbolic and shows our commitment. I think this is just the beginning and an opportunity for Boeing Sheffield to impress.”
Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, said:
“Boeing Sheffield is further evidence of Boeing’s long-term commitment to the prosperity of this country. We are grateful to the communities of Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as Sheffield City Council and the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, for supporting Boeing Sheffield and our growing presence in the region.”
The development of the facility is a significant endorsement of Sheffield by Boeing and is testament to the skills, talent, passion and history in the region. The ground breaking marks a culmination of Boeing’s 16 year partnership with the University of Sheffield’s AMRC with Boeing and its 80 year relationship with the UK. Boeing Sheffield’s employee base will include 19 manufacturing apprentices, who have already been recruited and are being trained at the AMRC Training Centre. During the ground breaking event, Sir Michael Arthur, Kim Smith and Adrian Allen, plus Programme Manager for Boeing Sheffield Don Hendrickson, Executive Director of the AMRC Professor Keith Ridgway, and General Manager of Boeing Portland Mike Starr, all met with the apprentices to discuss their training and experiences so far. For them, the opportunity of receiving training from Boeing and in one of the UK’s most prestigious and advanced research facilities, is a tremendous opportunity. The skills and experience they acquire will serve as a platform from which to build successful and exciting careers in engineering, manufacturing and science.
For Boeing, the Sheffield facility is also an important marker of its commitment to the UK’s prosperity agenda. The prosperity initiative was first announced by Boeing in partnership with the Government in 2016 with the aim of advancing growth and prosperity in the United Kingdom, and with the shared vision of delivering the best capabilities to the UK’s Armed Forces, alongside additional, enhanced prosperity for the UK in partnership with the supply chain and public sector agencies. Boeing Sheffield is a significant and positive step in this direction, a hallmark of Boeing’s global strategy to become an enduring industrial champion for the 21st century.